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  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  10 hours ago

    The IC posts over the Crater Lake events for Nature Night are finally finished!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  10 hours ago

    !lol

    It really was something..a bit like a can..that the Sandworms went into !

    Magic and Gnomish Technology to the rescue!

  • Vaedryan
    Vaedryan  11 hours ago

    *chuckles* Love the name of the most recent NN, Scratch!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  17 hours ago

    Nature Night will start in about 2 hours!

    Please join us in the Wild Grove in Grauer Suden.

    I will be IG as Dauken. Feel free to shoot me a tell with any questions. smile

  • AmberOfDzu
    AmberOfDzu  1 day ago

    Hi Scratch!

  • scratch_flannigan
    scratch_flannigan  2 days ago

    Amber!

  • AmberOfDzu
    AmberOfDzu  2 days ago

    *wave* @Vaerdryan grin

  • Vaedryan
    Vaedryan  3 days ago

    Omg! I spy an Avarith!!! grin

  • Jandari
    Jandari  3 days ago

    DORF night has kicked off with epic bouts of arm wrestling!

  • archgrendel
    archgrendel  3 days ago

    Payne is just jealous wink


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The Island of Thain :: Forums :: In Character Discussion
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Pact Born

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Alanonas
12:41:36 am GMT 04/26/18
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
Pact Born

A Warlock's Tale



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"That which issues from the heart alone,
will bend the hearts of others to your own"


~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust.


~W~


Inheritance

~W~ Seven Years Ago ~W~

The funeral of Lord Aldric Walker was quiet and reserved; quite unlike the man himself. The hedonistic lord had left few of life's vices and superfluidities untouched during his days. Yet for all the lavish parties and ample banquets that catered to the most exotic and interesting bohemians of Neverwinter, the single black coffin is witnessed only by a somber priest, a smattering of servants who hardly had a choice in the matter, and an uncaring notary of the city simply to verify the lord's passing and make sure it makes its way into a trite document to left forgotten in the cities records.

Even his last remaining son and heir saw little reason to dwell long upon the man's departure, for good reason of course; for young Aldorian would now begin to see his true inheritance manifest with his father's dying breath, one far more valuable than the vast troves of coin, art, and tracks of land the former lord's other "Friends" and relatives fight and bicker over.....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~W~ Three Years Ago ~W~

Motes of dust blossom into the air, illuminated by the orange rays of the setting sun over the rolling hillside country outside the city of Neverwinter. Within the undisturbed study of the former lord, young Aldorian selects another dusty tome from the intricately carved shelf and sets it carefully upon a stack of others that had caught his inquisitive eye.

Things became rather odd for Aldorian the night his father passed, a night he will be hard pressed to forget, mostly due to the fact that it left a rather persistent mark upon the youth's otherwise unblemished and alluring form. Two cold blue orbs look past his fine, flaxen hair to his left hand and the thick leather glove he has taken to wearing since the fateful night. Another tome is placed upon the precarious tower of books before the youth pulls away the glove and loses himself in the intricate brand that fills his palm.

It is a strange thing, akin to a tattoo of dark, ruby ink of perfect lines that intersect at sharp angles.

The young man remembers his father wore a glove much like his own. "An old memento of my dueling days" his father had called it. Yet it was not just the odd mark that alarmed the young noble, but the strange plethora of odd happenings and manifestations that began to surround the youth.

Each night he tosses and turns to escape the fleeting, fell voices that accost him in the vile language, and washes twice daily to rid himself of the dark aromas that seem to follow him. Weeks pass into months, each day bringing some new plague to the young man.

Yet just as young Aldorian felt there would be no reprieve from the dark manifestations, he pulls one of the last dusty tomes from the towering shelf in his father's study. It is a thick, heavy, and quite ugly thing, bound in thick, stained leather. As he reaches to the hefty tome, the stool slips from beneath the flaxen-haired youth, sending him and the tome to the hardwood floors with a thud.

Amidst his cursing he steals a look over to the now open tome, pulling it closer to examine the strange diagram sketched upon the weathered parchment. His eyes drift between his hand and the sinister diagram, noting their eerie similarity. He eagerly flips through the pages, coming to a halt as a large map that had been haphazardly tucked between the pages falls and drifts to the floor.

He looks down to a rather worn looking map. Penned across the top, in an elegant hand from a bygone age, is the single word:

THAIN.


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Alanonas
4:54:40 am GMT 05/09/18
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
The Search

~W~ Six Months Ago ~W~

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The acrid fluid pattered upon the slick walls of the iron structure before sliding down the unnaturally warm metallic surface of the sharp architecture into a gutter positioned into the optimal location to deal with the precipitation. Was it rain? Perhaps no one knew for sure. It fell from above and was wet to the touch much like most rain; if nothing else it proved a suitable substitute for the natural occurrence. The oily rivulets could even be seen tracing the same intricate, wild patterns upon the window as normal rain would; perhaps the only disorderly aspect of this city of iron and order.

Aldorian turned his gaze from the window back to the simple iron desk in the corner of the room, allowing his blue eyes to slowly drift back to the unassuming sheet of rolled parchment that held the answers he had so fervently sought.

He recalls the arduous, chaotic journey that drew him from his comfortable manor and onto the dusty roads and stormy seas that eventually meandered their way to the isolated island from the strange map he had discovered. "Thain" it was called. Even his father, who clearly had some tie to this land, had never spoken a word of the unknown land, and judging by the tale tales spun by the sailors who agreed to grant the young man passage, Aldorian was in for a wild ride indeed. They spoke of murderous armies of half-dragons plundering the roads, scars of wars between gods themselves, and even eruptions of abyssal rifts that drove the very wildlife into madness.

Fascinating as all these tales were, Aldorian cared only for finding the origin of the weathered tome; for it held the only real clue to what may be causing the strange happenings that had been relentlessly manifesting around the man for years now.

He remembers scouring the isle for weeks in search of anything or anyone who may know the meaning of the odd symbol that had marred his palm. He even made the mistake of showing the vile thing to a few people who then in turn began spouting all manner of holy incantations upon him; rather violently at that. Yet some dark fate would have it that he would stumble upon a contingent of soldiers one day whilst fleeing such a crowd of devotees. He had taken the road to the north, towards the gloomy fort that loomed over the coast, when he caught sight of the sinister soldiers. They bore spike armor, helms, and most importantly: scarlet tabards that featured the very same icon that had branded itself into the man's being and plagued his every thought.

As they marched further to the north into the mountain rise, Aldorian soon lost sight of them in the growing mist, eventually finding himself utterly lost in the canyon. For hours the young man would wander, scurrying away from every unknown sound that emerged from the billowing mists until he would finally come upon a woman engaged in a rather bloody fight with a pair of the largest, most blood-crazed felines the young man had ever beheld.

He watched as the swift woman adeptly felled the beasts with fiery arrows from her bow. As the beasts fought for their dying breathes between the two, Aldorian soon realized that this was certainly no ordinary woman as he noted the bloodied wings, fell horns, and other infernal features that marked this one as an Eryines from the depths of Baator.

Melphaecto she was called, and she would prove invaluable in the coming days in helping the young man gain access into the fabled Iron City. Nothing was free of course, and Aldorian had aided the devil in a number of rather vile misadventures, most of which that involved siphoning the souls of the dying foes the pair would defeat together. Nonetheless sacrifices had to be made if he wished to make use of the devil's abilities, and more importantly: gain access to the Iron City's records.

Aldorian adjusts himself in the rigid chair, the rather uncomfortable thing rousing him from his reflections. His eyes have yet to leave the off-white parchment that still rests upon the desk: the grand prize his arduous search. Answers at last! He slowly stands, stepping across the unadorned room towards the desk and carefully unfurls the neatly rolled parchment...
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Alanonas
5:17:30 am GMT 05/14/18
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
The Pact

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The parchment is surprisingly hardy and has been well maintained within the vaults of the Iron City. The man's eyes drift across the strange text, but are unable to decipher the infernal runes from the lower planes. He sighs. It will take months, possibly years, to learn the intricacies of the dark language of devils before he could even think to translate the pact himself, and he'd hardly trust anyone else in such an endeavor. The man mutters under his breath in frustration, wishing he could make sense of the esoteric script. The illegible scrawlings, seemingly in response to the lamentation of the youth, begin to warp and twist themselves about on the scroll, eventually rearranging into the common script before the surprised man's very eyes.

"Well that works." he thinks to himself.

As the font glides across the surface of the scroll, the young man's eyes follow along with each forming word...

THEOPHILIUS DENVAN WALKER, YOU DO HEREBY AND HEREON SWEAR TO AND AGREE TO UPHOLD THE TERMS OF THIS CONTRACT MADE ON ON THIS DAY.....

Theophilius? Aldorian pauses as he recognizes his grandfather's name...

...FOR THIS BOON YOU EVOKE FROM THE FOLLOWING RIGHTFUL LORDS AND VASSALS OF THE 9 HELLS OF BAATOR...

Four strange symbols dominate the middle of the scroll, each one accompanied by a name beneath them....

...DUKE ADONIDES, VASSAL OF MEPHISTOPHELES, DOES SO GRANT UNTO THEE HIS BEAUTY, CHARM, AND DARK GRACES...
...DUKE AGARES, IN SERVICE OF LEVISTUS, DOES SO GRANT UNTO THEE HIS 33 BOUND SERVANTS TO COMMAND...
...ALSATOR THE GRIM, EXECUTIONER IN SERVICE OF ASMODEUS, DOES SO GRANT UNTO THEE HIS POWER OF DEATH...
...DUKE BILETH, VASSAL OF MOLOCH, DOES SO GRANT UNTO THEE HIS POWER OF FIRE AND IMMOLATION...

Aldorian pales as he takes note of each infernal boon, recalling the nature of the strange powers he had began to manifest following the death of his father as he reads the next line...

IN RETURN FOR SO GREAT A BOON, THE WALKER LINE AGREES TO GIVE UNTO THE RIGHTFUL LORDS OF HELL THE LIVING SOULS OF EACH PATRIARCH OF THE WALKER LINE, FOUR SOULS FOR FOUR BOONS, EACH PAID AFTER THE AGREED UPON DURATION. BY SIGNING YOU AGREE THAT THE FOLLOWING DURATIONS SHALL HENCEFORTH BECOME EFFECTIVE:

THEOPHILIUS DENVAN WALKER, CURRENT PATRIARCH AND PACT HOLDER: 3 SCORE AND 6 YEARS
SECOND GENERATION PATRIARCH AND PACT HOLDER: 2 SCORE AND 6 YEARS
THIRD GENERATION PATRIARCH AND PACT HOLDER: 1 SCORE AND 6 YEARS
FOURTH GENERATION PATRIARCH AND PACT HOLDER: 6 YEARS

Beside each name, Aldorian notices the signatures of his own grandfather and father next to their respective names before seeing his own signature next to the third generation. How peculiar, he had no recollection of ever signing such a thing, yet here was his own signature right before his very eyes. Stranger still was the last signature, it was hardly legible, as if written by a child?

As he looks to each name he soon realizes that his grandfather had died at the age of 66...or three score and six years. He thinks to his father's death and notes that he was 46... two score and six years. He pales to an even lighter shade as he realizes that he has just turned 20 himself.

His father's untimely death was not an accident it seems. It was an agreement.

The young man rests his head in his shaking hands as he processes the gravity of the situation. What does this mean? Will he too be claimed by the lower planes? What of the fourth generation? He has no son, but what if he did? Is it possible to alter the terms of such a thing?

Aldorian ponders a moment before standing himself up from the rigid iron chair. He knew a devil that may know.
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Alanonas
12:42:44 am GMT 11/12/19
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
Ashes to Ashes

~W~ Not So Long Ago ~W~


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He remembers when the incessant pounding of the Empryean barrage upon the Iron Wall finally faded and the screams of battle and deaths of those who fought outside were replaced in turn with the usual hushed ones wrought by tyranny and oppression.

It's hard to judge the passing of time in a place like the Iron City, despite all the meticulous timekeeping and punctuality of those who scurry about the hot streets. It was much like a machine in that way, a dark cruel thing of unfeeling metal. A whirring cage of living iron that seemed to close in about oneself a little more with each indistinguishable day that slithered by.

His dull eyes glance down upon the innocent looking parchment that is now cast haphazardly across the otherwise spotless iron desk of his flat. His gaze traces over the lines and sigils that once adorned the unassuming, blank sheet. Such things only lived in his tortured memories now, yet within such they flare and burn as bright as the accursed blood red ink they were written in on that fateful and bygone day.

The same red now fills his otherwise flawless features as he stands and blasts a torrent of infernal balefire over the despised document. He can see the leering fiendish visages flickering in the hellish flames as they consume the now completed Pact. The boons of the pact lingered, but the youth finds that the guilt of that dark day lingered right alongside the unnatural powers.

The lurid flames feast upon the parchment, withering it to a crackling pile of cinders and ash that sprawl their ghosts upon the metallic floor. He still hears the child's lamenting scream, as distinct as the day the drow sorceress supplied it to the desperate young man. It was the key to ending the pact you see. Aldorian adopted the child, gave the child his family's name, and in doing such doomed the child instead of him to bear the end of the tainted agreement that has haunted his line for three generations...

He thought he would find respite from the cursed agreement in watching it burn, but in those infernal ashes he saw only the dying eyes of the child he had doomed.

He had thought of leaving the City. The devils. The corruption. All of it. But more importantly, he has seen the fate of those who have tried. Already he can feel the eyes of the Inquisition staring at him. Watching his every move. Such beings are drawn to irrationality after all, even more so to strike it down.

No, he will not be just another nameless one to vanish unexpectedly into the iron night.

As the ashes of his past cool to a dead grey, the youth dons his mantle and makes for the Inquisitor's office with a deal of his own to propose...



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Alanonas
3:06:20 am GMT 11/14/19
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
Quid Pro Quo


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The youth left the office of the Inquisition feeling nearly a decade older and none the wiser. Beyond all the bureaucratic procedure, endless cross examinations and ever looming threat of dismemberment and disappearance the flustered man garnered only one insight into what must be done: He was to find an operative in the field and ascertain what it is that they should desire if he were to expect a proper audience.

So he traveled.

The weight of the past grueling months of life within the Iron City sloughed off his shoulders as he left the still ravaged gates of the ominous fortress and made his way back into the wild roads of the Isle. He savored each breath of the crisp mountain air and even welcomed the chill touch of a wayward rainstorm that greeted him as he passed through the rolling hills near Hamely. But there would be no solace, not until he knew his debts and favors had been paid to the unflinching fiends.

As he walks, he recalls the terrible favor he owed one of the more feared inquisitors themselves: the Erinyes known as Melphaecto. Another lingering debt to be fulfilled before he could find respite. It is said that if one speaks, or even thinks of a devil that they shall appear. The young man learns such is true as the sun sets over the now draconian fortress that looms in the distance.

Like a nightmare manifested, she appeared from the gates, no doubt on her way from some never ending bargain or scheme to trap more wayward and wanting souls.

They spoke at length, of many things. They spoke much, but in the typical infernal fashion, said little.Then he asked her what must be done to ensure his departure from the Iron grip of the city and the devils within would not prove to be his undoing, deserved as it may be.

Her response was simple, yet telling:

"You only must give the City something greater than what will be lost."

~W~

The devil's words lingered long within his mind, invading each passing thought, even now as he gazes at his reflection in the sordid tavern room of the Watch. He sees a broken man, one brimming with guilt and regret, one brought low by an inherited curse. What could the City see in such a husk of a man?

A blast of searing flame leaps from the angered youth's hands, covering the mirror's surface with a blanket of ash and soot as he seeks to banish the sulking figure within.

He knew then. The boons of the Pact persisted within him, after all, they were rightly paid for in full. Perhaps it was time he made them work for him. He smiles at the half obscured face in the mirror, seeing a now man exuding the familiar confidence that he once knew so well.


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Alanonas
4:06:00 pm GMT 11/17/19
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
Decorum


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The Iron City was teeming with a suspicious level of excitement when the flaxen haired youth returned to the confines of its metallic walls. His recess from the City had be short lived, but long enough to make contact with a number of the operatives of the City. The agents had their hands and wits alike entrenched in numerous sensitive and secretive affairs about the isle some of which he now found himself entangled in. Such was the game one must play.

He passes through the streets and alleyways of the city, wondering upon what sort of occasion could stoke such a lively response from so many of the otherwise dour and fearful citizens of the city. The thought quickly is lost within the swirling vortex of thoughts regarding his eventual plan to truly rid himself of the influence this oppressive city had literally branded upon him.

He slides open the heavy meal door of his flat and rids himself from the growing bustle of the streets. It was a simple place to live, or rather exist, barren of all decor aside from an arrogant set of opulent crimson curtains that stood in stark contrast to the otherwise spartan bed and desk. He hangs his now rather worn silken mantle upon the chair, lamenting heavily upon the toll that "adventuring" has had on it. While inspecting a rather galling hole torn across the cherished article, his eyes catch sight of a single sheet of red that rests upon the bleak desktop.

A finely pressed and sharp envelope adorned with a flowing red ribbon and black wax seal met his gaze. He sets the ruined cape aside and picks up the missive, seeing a familiar mark embossed upon the dark seal: It was that of Adonides, one of the devils who had saw fit to grant the Walker line with their unnatural "charm and graces" as the pact had once detailed.

He pauses, but curiosity soon claims the best of him and he finds himself sliding the edge of his dagger under the wax seal. The blackened wax cracks and the he unfolds the crimson letter...

To the current patriarch of the Walker Line,

We hope this letter finds you in good health, for such things are precious and oh so fragile. Such a state of being should be cherished, but I digress.

I write this missive to you so you may be informed that His Excellency Duke Adonides, vassal of His Greatness Mephistopheles, is wounded to learn that both former patriarchs of the Walker line declined to attend the BLOODLIGHT BALL, the premier centennial promenade and charity ball that is held in his honor. Such excuses as, and I quote your own predecessors, as "Being deceased" or "Writhing in the eternal dominion of the devil lords who got the better of my living soul." are not suitable reasons to abscond on the social duties and obligations of the Walker line.

His excellency hopes that you will not be tempted to entertain such a notion as neglecting your own such obligations and decorum. You may have fulfilled the terms of the pact, but one would do well and ensure the continuity of their own good health by avoiding venturing upon insult resulting from declining such a prestigious invitation.


Infernally yours,

Gelatrix'vir, Senior imp and scribe in service to His Excellency, the Duke Adonides.

P.S. Dress as if your very life depends upon style. Not that it does of course.

Aldorian gives the letter a stern look before dropping it back to the desk and unfurling the curtains to gaze once again into the streets. He watches a pair of city slips raise an opulent banner that bears the same mark as the now broken seal upon the letter. Passing citizens and the man alike watch as dozens more servants begin adorning the facade of one of the manors that tower over the noble district of the city.

He smiles and looks once again to the ruined garment before making for the notorious tailor's guild. He'd need a new suit. And a date.

(( I will be running a player-run event for this on Saturday, November, 23rd starting at 6 pm EST /3 pm PST /11 pm GMT. Any character who would be interested in an infernal party is welcome to attend! ))


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Alanonas
12:35:30 am GMT 01/02/20
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
Appeasement

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The thick haze of incensed air filled the dim room of cold iron, billowing upwards in swirling plumes of fragrance as the smouldering components of the circle hiss and ignite, sputtering along the intricate lines of the infernal glyphs and runes. The sweet smell of charred exotic wood and spices are banished by the infernal fumes as they fill the small room with notes of charred flesh, sulfur, and burning blood.

The flaxen haired mage keeps his eyes set upon the circle, the blue orbs following the crackling lines as the embers sizzle across the diagram, each burning line intercepting at a single point within. The searing sigil of the devil lord known as Duke Agares burns white hot as the flames ignite the carefully arrayed design.

The heat flows through the iron floors, warming the man's fine leather boots as the calling is completed. A wave of stinging air, hot as a Hammersong furnace, washes over the man, causing his wards to flare white hot as the searing heat tries to envelop his pitiful human body. There is a single flash of red light that causes the man to blink. His eyes sting from the acrid fumes as he looks to the devil that now stands in the charred remains of the circle.

Aldorian looks to the extraplanar terror, thinking of all the horror it will bring unto his unlucky quarry this eve. It will serve him well in his endeavors this night, just as it has on many other occasions since his arrival to this isle, as do the other 32 servants that the mage was taught to call forth from the legions of Duke Agares, each one a terror in their own ways.

He steps back as the horrible creature steps over the ruined circle, crushing the powdered gemstones that composed it to charred dust under its hoof. The mage can't help but ponder if his own head may suffer a similar fate as those gemstones, a beautiful thing: charred and crushed under a devil's foot.

He knows that the devil lords that granted such boons to his line will not forget his dubious method of slipping free from their clutches by fulfilling the Pact before they wrought his soul from his cold corpse themselves. Fables and tales of old often speak of the clever man who outwits the evil devil, with the clever man seemingly off carefree for the remainder of his mortal life. Seldom do these tales look to the devils themselves, of what such a creature may contrive as a means to show such a bold mortal the error and futility of their ways.

~^~ W ~^~

Such are the thoughts that weigh heavy upon the mage as he directs the devil to enter the brigands caves to collect more souls. He hears the alarmed screams as the fiend tears their mortal vessels apart and feasts on the corrupted flicker of a soul within. Such men will hardly be missed and the souls within may be feeble and dark, but such things add up. Like coppers to silver, then to gold.

A splatter of warm blood sprays from the dark confines of the cavern and coats the mage's face with a sticky red sheen as another soul is brought to ruin at the devil's clawed hands. A messy affair, but an essential endeavor if the mage wishes to craft a gift fit to appease a scorned devil lord...




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Alanonas
6:30:53 pm GMT 01/03/20
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
Retrieval

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The mage belts out the name of the fiend into the gate as it tore its way though the fabric of the planes. The light sparks forth, illuminating the room with a red glare as he listens and waits.

Only silence and the roaring of infernal winds meet him.

...Where had Exsalion gone?

The mage gazed through the humming portal of living flame and into the fiery plane within, shielding his face from the torrents of searing air that blew forth from the aperture. Jagged mountains littered the angry horizon in the distance, a few of the sharpened peaks oozing with sluggish flows of glowing lava while swarms of flying devils drifted across the flaming skies vigilant as ever.

The inhospitable landscape was no other than Phlegethos, the fiery fourth layer of the Nine Hells, and the domain of one of the warlock's servants that he often made use of when a less subtle approach to conflict resolution was in order, but now the fiend seemed to neglect his calling.

Aldorian calls the name once more into the burning gusts. This time the packs of flying things turn their attention to the gateway and the mage within. Before he can enforce his own wards they were upon him, fizzling through the buzzing gateway and surrounding him, wicked arrows nocked upon the the black strings of their bent bows. Eryines.

One among them gave a vicious grin and took a step across the burning gate, moving close to the man, close enough he could smell her sulfurous sweat as it beaded on her brow. "And what does this bold little mortal wish for? We hope it is a quick and fiery death, only so we may deny such a thing. We have nothing but time afterall..."

He stands still, slowly meeting the devil's burning gaze with his own, hoping his wards would keep the dangerous fiend at bay long enough to sunder the gate if need be, hoping that it could not see the very real fear that filled his own eyes.

"I seek the one known as Exsalion, a fiend of some note on this layer, one in service to his excellency The Duke Agares. For it is this servant of Agares' that is entrusted to myself as per my line's former agreements with the Duke. I have called him, and he has neglected to uphold his part of the bargain..."

The winged fiend gives a cold stare, one that freezes the man's soul even as the things eyes burn with the flickering fires of the fiery layer.

"Exsalion is no longer upon this layer. He has gone missing mortal. We suspect misfortune has fallen upon him whilst he scavenged the Fugue for lost souls, though I suspect you'll have a difficult time looking into while you bristle with our arrows you pathet-"

The mage takes his chance and tries to close shut the gateway that was held open, watching the devils each let loose their blackened arrows. He closes his eyes as the spell fades and the portal flashes shut, hoping it seals in time to halt the deadly shafts.

When he opens his eyes he sees a single black arrow buried nearly an inch into the iron wall behind him, pinning his mantle to the same. He lets out the stale air he had held in his lungs and slouches down to the floor, allowing his cloak to rip and tear. As he catches his breath, this mind begins to wonder how one may find their way to such a plane as the Fugue.

He pauses and glances back to dark arrow.

Preferably without dying...

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Alanonas
8:09:28 pm GMT 02/13/20
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
Possesion


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The flaxen haired warlock's gloved hand closes over the shimmering crystal that the wordless fiend offered to him. Within it rested the long lost devil he had sought: Exsalion. The man's heart skips as the gem sears to life in his hand, burning away the leather glove with a terrible stench. He sees the crack forming in the glossy facets of the gem, but it is too late. A dark shadow clouds his vision then, then all goes red. He is alone now. No, not alone...he hears a voice. A terrible voice. A voice akin to the sizzling of burning flesh as a heated ember burrows its way through...

"You will bind me no longer mortal..."

The insidious voice mocks him as he feels his body falling away from his control. He is left there, wherever it is one goes when all their senses fail them. Caught in between worlds, a waking nightmare...

~ W ~

Exasalion fills the body of his new host, exploring the creature's form as dark blight would an infected corpse. It is fragile. Weak. No talons to rend. No venomous fangs to tear and torture. Soft flesh in place of infernal hide that had endured the relentless hazards of the Nine Hells since before the rise of Time itself.

It will have to do.

The man's memories remain like a soft haze, encircling and dancing along with the devil's own. The devil sees the foolish man travel with a group of other mortals deep into the depths of the Abyss itself, fighting through the madness and debauchery within to find what? Ah. Their true destination: The Fugue. The devil's own psyche pries deeper yet, intrigued as to why such a frail group of mortals would seek such a place, for it was not long ago, even by a mortal's reckoning of time, that he had traveled to the same, for more auspicious reasons of his own...

He sees them treat with the wretched yuggoloth that fancy such a plane, manipulative opportunists that they are. The devil recoils from the stolen memories in disgust as they intertwine with the psychic intrusions of the yuggoloth as it filled the man's mind with it's own disgusting presence, if only as a means to communicate. The devil refocuses and finds the group now bargaining for passage from the Fugue, to of all places Minauros?
Why do they seek the Third? Could they possibly...

He watches the group transverse the bloodied forests and infernal glades of the Third Layer of the Nine Hells. They were looking for something, or someone. He see them barter with the other fiends that roam the layer, gaining their favor, ire, and even in one case, their blood in a violent exchange of blows. Soon they descend into a place that seems familiar to the devil, though he cannot know why...

Another Yuggoloth. This one offers the man a stone.

Exsalion knew well that stone. Every facet and chip of it. Each scratch and imperfection that the small prison boasted. He knew it well, for it was within he himself had been trapped. The devil's own oppressed memories of his unfortunate capture flood his mind, burning into a burning anger...

He sees the man grab the stone, then a stinging pain courses through his infernal psyche, blinding him in a terrible burst of reddened light.

The devil forces the blue eyes of his new prison to open. He sees the man's companions watching in confusion, in awe, and in anger.

"You will bind me no longer mortal..."

~ W ~

Aldorian awakens. Jolts of searing existential pain wash over the ephemeral projection of his body. It is much as he remembered it. He sees his hands, then his boots. His feet move and lift his strangely weightless body to stand upon the nothingness that rises from below to meet them. Dull sounds echo about the colorless void that seem to stretch on endless in all directions. He looks up and sees not a sky, but a shimmering array of scratched and nicked facets that refract the incoming hues of light in a beautiful array of shadows and light together. The warlock mutters to himself as he takes his first clumsy step into the nothingness that is the ground in this strange prison...
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Alanonas
6:25:01 pm GMT 02/19/20
Alanonas Registered Member #24078 Joined: 3:40:59 am GMT 05/14/17
Posts: 800
The Price of Freedom

[ image disabled ]

The lone figure wanders about the great expanse of nothing, occasionally looking up past the billowing mists to watch what served as a sky in the strange prison, the only thing that seemed to change. Occasionally the shadowy lights would swirl and twist in the odd barrier, only to fade back into the white nothing once again. He began to think himself dead, convincing himself that this must be the true Fugue Plane, a place he'd wander until some malicious fiend made off with his broken soul.

Then the voices return...

It's like an echo, one that has jumbled and interwoven with itself like a scream trapped within the depths of a dark well. The infernal words bounce about the man's mind, clawing and raking his psyche and intermingling with his own confused thoughts as they ravage about his mind. Some manifest into vivid, but contorted images that flash behind his own eyes...

He sees Exsalion, or at least a fiend that seems akin to him. The devil is warped and twisted, like the fading details of a dream that just slipped from a dreamer's waking mind. He sees the infernal shadow slink over a plane of grey mists to treat with a cavalcade of other figures. Though distorted and distended, the man recognizes them as Yuggoloth, ones similar to the ones his own party met upon the Fugue. Exsalion's fading voice rings and grow more loud, filling the mage's mind with his dark words..

"Duke Agares' reign fades with our agreement fiend... A servant I shall be no longer..."

The mage blinks and the image fades, leaving him once again alone in the bleak expanse of nothingness.

It would seem that the wayward fiend had been plotting against his true master, possibly even orchestrating his downfall. The warlock smiles. Duke Agares would be pleased to learn of such a plot against him, perhaps even grateful. Maybe even grateful enough to forgive the mage's slippery fulfillment of the Pact that once tied the devil lord to his family...

It seemed like a solid plan, but as mage looked about, he was left with a distinct lack of solid options...

~ W ~

The devil Exsalion wreathed the Hellknight known as Roman with infernal flames as his host's magic held the knight paralyzed. The host's body may be frail, but the boons borrowed from his former master, The Duke Agares, were not. The devil left the knight with a warning to not interfere with his plans, telling him that their former mage now serves a greater purpose beyond their own petty schemes...

The Erinyes was not so easily convinced.

Exsalion felt the stings of the winged devil's arrows pierce his host's body, digging deep past the borrowed wards. As the host's heart began to slow, the devil felt his essence slipping free from the mortal vessel. As he jettisoned the mortal, his burning eyes catch sight of the old familiar gem that had became his prison. He wails as he is drawn once more into it as his host crumples...

~ W ~

Pain. Searing Pain. A breath of acrid smoke rushes into the broken man's body. His eyesight returns and sees a sky. A true sky, one with dark clouds brimming with chilling rain that begins to fall. He sees the wounds on his body. The Erinyes stands over him, a handful of arrows still dripping with warm blood, his blood, in her hand.

"Welcome back Aldorian, we've matters to discuss..."

The battered mage rises, slowly getting used to how a real body of flesh and bone feels again. It's a strange sensation, one he will be hard pressed to take for granted in the coming days. Though his body was broken and sore from the still fresh wounds, it felt good to be back...
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